SK Telecom T1, FunPlus Phoenix in cruise control
SK Telecom T1’s dominion over Group C has intensified as they crushed Clutch Gaming in record time. After their tough victories against Fnatic and Royal Never Give Up, SK Telecom T1 disposed of Clutch Gaming in 26 minutes and 10 seconds, a little longer than G2’s 24:37 mark the day before.
SK Telecom T1’s composition had a G2-esque flair as the team selected Gragas and Yasuo in the bot lane, and paired the duo with Lee Sin, Akali and Aatrox. Their composition ramped up starting the 5:05 mark, when they neutralized Huni’s Vladimir and LirA’s Sejuani for the rest of the game after a favorable 2-0 bot lane skirmish (with Huni’s Teleport mistake spiraling out of control).
From that point, SK Telecom T1’s objective control and skirmishing were in full display. By the time the game reached the 20-minute mark, they held a 10k gold advantage, killed three Infernal Drakes in a row, and destroyed four towers (to Clutch’s 0). If that were not enough, Faker spectacularly escaped death in a 1v4 situation as his teammates were slaying Baron Nashor.
However, SK Telecom T1 were unable to beat G2’s mark. On the other hand, FunPlus Phoenix did, with a blazing fast 23:33 victory over GAM Esports. Tian (6/1/3 on Qiyana) set the tone starting the 3:22 mark, when he successfully ganked the bot lane. Two minutes later, he helped GimGoon secure a 2-0 exchange the top lane, then proceeded to make Levi’s jungling experience a living hell through counterganks and invasions. Eventually, Doinb took over in the mid lane when the clock hit 14 minutes, and the game became unrecoverable for GAM.
European fans wincing as Fnatic and Splyce fall
Fnatic (Group C) and Splyce (Group B) entered Day 4 with a 1-1 score each, and pressure fell upon them as they sought to win their games and position themselves ideally ahead of the remainder of the group stage. However, Royal Never Give Up and J Team denied them that opportunity and exposed their weaknesses in the process.
Fnatic’s shortcomings fell not to their play, but to their drafting as Royal Never Give Up outlasted their skirmish-heavy composition (Blitzcrank, Glacial Augment Morgana, Shen and Lee Sin) with a balanced team fight unit that included Langx’s Gnar, Xiaohu’s Ryze, and Uzi’s Xayah. Without the ability to attack RNG around objectives, and without the opportunity to make picks past the laning phase, Fnatic’s composition slowly withered, and RNG claimed the victory through superior scaling and team fighting —especially on Uzi’s side.
On the other hand, Splyce’s woes followed their inability to activate their composition against J Team. As Xerxe (on Karthus) opted to support his teammates instead of farming, he was unable to accelerate to Level 16. At the same time, the bot lane and mid lane fell apart as FoFo (LeBlanc) outmatched Humanoid (Syndra), and as Norskeren and Vizicsacsi were unable to initiate team fights on their terms.
J Team’s play was particularly stellar around objectives and in team fights, as FoFo regularly neutralized Splyce’s damage dealers. Try as they might, Splyce were unable to prevent J Team’s Drake takedowns (six total, with one Elder Drake included) and Baron Nashor claims (three), and the destruction of their structures. Their last ditch attempt at recovery ended in disaster around Baron Nashor, and the game ended after 44:40 of action.
G2 Esports stand on top of Group A, with Griffin trailing them
G2 Esports maintained their undefeated streak at the 2019 World Championship following a lengthy game against Hong Kong Attitude—one they clearly led macro-wise. Although their initial picks miserably backfired, with mikyx (Rakan) and Jankos (Lee Sin)’s ambush attempts falling flat, Caps (Syndra) and Wunder (Vladimir) outmatched their lane opponents, and Perkz (Yasuo) farmed and splitpushed his way into team fight relevance. A successful baron and follow-up team fight at the 26:45 mark was all it took for G2 to seal the deal.
On the other hand, Griffin mightily struggled against Cloud9, and they were even losing early on. Cloud9’s split-pushing and kiting in team fights was in full effect early on, and it seemed as if they had found an unorthodox solution to Garen-Yuumi through Sona-Tahm Kench.
However, Cloud9 impatiently pushed the mid lane after a Baron Nashor takedown without allowing Licorice to push the bot lane up to the inhibitor. When Griffin called their bluff, Licorice’s ill-fated Teleport to join his teammates all but doomed Cloud9 on the long run; following their inability to set up minion waves to their advantage, C9 eventually crumbled after 43 minutes of action.
It's D-Day! The League of Legends Worlds 2019 Grand Finals just ended with the win of FunPlus Phoenix. G2 Esports failed to achieve the Grand Slam, and lost 0-3 while facing the LPL champions.